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Accepting Affordable As Acceptable

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Acoop, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. At least one vintage instrument worth over $5,000.

    17 vote(s)
  2. At least one vintage instrument worth over $2,000.

    50 vote(s)
  3. At least one custom instrument. (Includes CS, Sadowsky, Dingwall, etc)

    53 vote(s)
  4. At least on custom instrument you put together with quality body, neck and pickups.

    58 vote(s)
  5. A lot of stuff not worth much.

    59 vote(s)
  6. A room full of crap.

    17 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Acoop

    Acoop Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    For starters I'm as old as dirt but, I still play both upright and el bass, pretty well, doing regular gigs. ... I remember back when I'd walk into stores, music or pawn-shop and be amazed by the quality in selection. But, now it's all crap or if it is good it's being dusted often because it's too $$. ... After near 40-years of accepting 'affordable' as acceptable has taken over musicians and the music in general. ... Now, I can accept this is my view, after living too long and remembering the past as being better but, to be honest, it was. (If you were there you'd know this if you weren't you missed it.)... I've been lucky to know the difference and purchase quality basses in my travels but, these days I'm saddened by the cheap quality offered to to-days young players or, for that fact, older players who pretend to not know the difference. ... Finding a quality instrument that speaks to you, not just at you, is a wonderful thing and a great way of taking you playing to another level. ... It's gotten down to China dropping junk at our door and America said, "Hey, this is pretty good junk." ... This may be interesting or just me ranting but, I'm curious.
  2. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    None of the above.

    I own high quality production instruments. Not “vintage." Not “custom." But high quality.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    Musicians buy what they can afford.

    As long as the music sounds good, I'm not concerned about the origin.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  4. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    I'd have to respectfully disagree with the OP.
    I think there's a fantastic selection of decently-made and very playable basses ... and amplifiers ... available today.
    Sure, maybe not in your local walk-in store, but certainly they're out there, and with sites like this to do your research on, I feel an aspiring bassist has never had it so good as today.

    I'm afraid I can't vote on your poll as the one bass I have, an American Standard Precision, which I feel is as good a bass as most of us need, doesn't fit in any of your categories.
  5. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Banned

    I'm no economist. Wait, yes I am by education. I'm pretty sure that when you factor in inflation you will find that good, production basses are less expensive than they were back in the good, old days (which probably were better in a lot of ways). I don't have any price lists of good, old days basses but I have occasionally seen prices from back then and thought "wow, that was a lot of money back then, compared to what people were making on average, and compared to price vs average income today."
    Stumbo, pcake, okcrum and 1 other person like this.
  6. BBox Bass

    BBox Bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Pennsylvania
    I own some nice custom gear and a lot of low-mid priced instruments. If I like it, I play it, regardless of where it came from or who might view it as crap.

    Regarding the "junk" that China dumps on us, a lot of it is more playable than the junk that was available when I started out. I know quite a few young folks who got turned off from guitar and bass because their instruments were unplayable. If today's beginners can buy a cheap instrument from China that doesn't have 1" action, warped necks, or fret ends that shred their fingers, they may be more likely to stick with playing. That's always a good thing.
    Nashrakh, Grumry, PsyDocHill and 7 others like this.
  7. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    New 1969 Gibson EB3, $384.50, tax included.
  8. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Banned

    You can get a whole lot of fine production basses (basically ANY, even with a much higher sales tax than we had 48 years ago!) for what you see below, even some more affordable boutiques.

  9. Aberdumbie

    Aberdumbie Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2016
    South Carolina
    I never afforded myself the luxury of expensive basses. I bought a Gibson RD in 1978 for around 300 bucks. A kings ransom for me at the time. Played that till around 1985 when I bought an Ibanez Roadstar for about 300 bucks that played like a boutique bass. Only last year did I allow myself the luxury of buying a custom built P. Spent just south of a thousand. And that was hard for this thrifty fellow to justify. But I do love it and am confident that will be my lady bass purchase.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    My definition of affordable has moved upwards a bit the last few years. I build my own basses, using the best light weight parts I can get. Custom shop performance/quality at somewhere between made in USA or Mexico prices. That is, assuming you know what you're doing. If you don't, then it's unplayable performance, for the same prices.
    FlatwoundFunk, smogg and DWBass like this.
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    None of my 4 current basses cost over $500. One found in a pawn shop. Another is a custom parts bass with high quality components. All of of them are pro quality basses. I've been a pro bassist and am currently a weekend warrior. I know how to install components and do my own setups. As for accepting affordable as acceptable? Affordable is key for me. I spend wisely and I also look for bargains. I'm not rich nor do I make a salary where I can pay a builder to build me a bass at a cost of $2k+. I don't come from that frame of mind. Even if I had the money, no way would I spend that much for a bass that I can build myself for way less than $1k. More power to those who do and have.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
    FlatwoundFunk, Grumry, smogg and 2 others like this.
  12. 9Thumbs


    Jul 3, 2013
    I bet none of my basses would sell for more than 5 or 6 hundred. But I am very happy with all three of them and feel no need to upgrade. They all play and sound great. I am currently upgrading my amp stuff for a little easier load in/out and more dependabilty.
  13. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    by that standard we could reverse that to see what a $200 bass today would've cost in the late 1960's. i think that would change peoples minds about the quality/price of the inexpensive instruments today.
  14. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
    About $35 or so.
  15. I voted a lot of stuff not worth much as I'm happy playing a couple of MIK P basses. They feel right in my hands and sound pretty good, at least to my 65 year old ears (yes, I've had them checked).
  16. I have to disagree with you, OP. Going only as far back as the '90s when I started playing, the "affordable" instruments/amps back then were not nearly as good as they are today - and more expensive when converted in today's dollars.

    Today's beginning players have it way better than we did.
  17. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    Judging by what dad had in the closet when I was a kid I'd say this is another bit of rose colored glasses.

    I've got 6 basses in my house under $600 that are great players regardless of price. So I disagree with the original post completely.
    Oddly, smogg, kodiakblair and 2 others like this.
  18. taliesin


    Nov 12, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    This is a straw man argument - the only choices are vintage/boutique or crap.

    A load of bollocks.

    I started playing late 70's and the quality of production instruments at multiple price points is light years ahead of what was available at the time.
    Nashrakh, Dgl44, hrodbert696 and 12 others like this.
  19. "Back in the Good Old Days..." No, you are wrong, at least as far as the electric bass is concerned. A $400 Ibanez, Squier, or Schecter today is better in every way than most instruments made in the Good Old Days. Improvements in manufacturing and production of components and finished units have really created a situation where today's students start off on much better instruments for much less money.

    Is there garbage being produced today? Sure there is. But good fit and functionality are easier and cheaper to attain than ever before.
  20. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    My favorite current pro bassist, who is touring all over the world, plays an SX Jazz bass that costs like $150 new.

    My second favorite current bassist, who also tours all over the world, plays a Squier Jazz bass that I think costs less than $300 new.

    My third favorite current bassist plays an Asian-made Hofner that I think costs $800 new.

    My fourth favorite current bassist plays an old Rickenbacker 4003.

    They all have a great tone and I cannot say that I think one sounds objectively better than another.
    frEQ, Oddly, smogg and 1 other person like this.

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